For a man nobody seemed to know, Jason Wheeler sure left a huge hole in the ED with his death.
Of course we didn't really need to know Wheeler. His exit may have seemed inevitable to us from almost his first appearance on the scene, but Chicago Med Season 2 Episode 17 wasn't about him, it was about the mess left behind. .
From the literal mess on the sidewalk, to Choi's having to rearrange the schedule, to Mr. Wheeler's clearing out of Jason's locker, there was a lot to clean up.
We in the audience were privy to more of Jason's issues than the ED staff seemed to be clued into, we still didn't get the whole story. I understand why the writers decided to take things in that direction, but I regret the missed opportunity for discussion about mental health issues and suicide.
There wasn't even a suicide hotline promo after the final fade to black.
I do have to give serious directorial props for the opening scene. The almost completely continuous shot, the beautiful scenery of the lake front and Millennium Park, the silence at the end... It was beautifully done.
In some ways, the reactions of the ED staff seemed the height of egocentricity. There was very little questioning of what could have pushed Wheeler to such extreme action, not much consideration of how other staff members or his friends and family may be doing.
Part of that is the shock, which rings true. In the immediate aftermath of a tragedy, you process through your own experience first.
There were some examples of team members (other than Dr. Charles) reaching out, but they were the exception, not the rule.
Maggie, dear Maggie, was the only one on staff who interacted with Mr. Wheeler. Granted, she was appointed as his laison of sorts, but shouldn't somebody, anybody else have comforted him, even with empty platitudes?
Connor may have helped Sarah to ease up on herself, but wasn't that just as much a teaching moment and a way to resolve his own sense of guilt as anything else?
Poor Dr. Charles was the one tasked with tending to every one else;s needs. Sarah's moment of realization about that shows that she really could have a bright future in psych, that despite her doubts, she is well suited to this work.
It was also just a perfect moment between her and her mentor.
Sarah: Everybody comes to you, don't they? With all their pain? And you just have to absorb it. [Daniel nods] How are you doing today?
Daniel: It was awful. It's just awful.
Of course, that's going to make her forthcoming decision about sticking with psych or leaving for the ED so much harder. I can easily see her being drawn to the "hard" science of trauma medicine over psych after this experience.
Maybe they'll find a way to combine the two fields for her, like Nat's double residency? Psych trauma isn't a thing as far I know, but it seems like it might be a good idea with how often Dr. Charles gets called down to the ED.
Or maybe she'll decide to stick with psych after all. I just hope she doesn't end up regretting her decisions again.
Look, not for nothing, helping people is -- is just about the hardest job there is.Daniel
Only one team member seemed unphased by Wheeler's suicide, but to be fair, April has a lot going on in her own life at the moment.
Did anybody really expect her relationship with Tate to survive her miscarriage? Even without his chauvinistic attitude about her job, that's a hard thing for a fledgling relationship to handle.
I do hope that Noah isn't so upset by his sister's breakup that he suffers a douche relapse. He was so sweet and supportive on Chicago Med Season 2 Episode 16, I really don't want to watch him backslide.
Is it too much to ask for him to not be an ass and be funny?
Noah: Hey, um, I saw you and Tate getting a little edgy. Are you okay?
April: I'm fine.
Noah: Yeah? Okay, good. I just don't want you, to, you know --
April: What? Screw things up?
Noah: What? No, no. I just want you to be happy..with a guy...who was a all-pro wide receiver three times. Three times, right?
The dark shadows will continue to loom over Gafney's ED on Chicago Med Season 2 Episode 18 ("Lessons Learned"). Will's teacher, Dr. Bella Rowan, shows up, but it doesn't look like she's long for this world.
Is it too much to hope that we finally get some canon clarification with the professor's visit? Just how much of his background from the original arc on Chicago PD holds true?
Sarah is still having some issues with Wheeler's death, because the more emotional turmoil she's in before having to make a life defining decision, the better. Hopefully Dr. Charles will be able to treat her as successfully as he is their patient.
Elsewhere, Dr. Rhodes is going to get into a disagreement with a patient's father, and Maggie is going to show the new nurse some tough love.
Jim Kessler: Everybody's a Monday morning quarterback.
Sarah: I -- I don't know what that means.
Even if you didn't miss it, "Monday Mourning" is worth a second watch. If you already erased it off your DVR, not to worry, you can always watch Chicago Med online with us here at TV Fanatic.
And we want to hear your thoughts in our comments section! Should the staff feel guilty? What path should Sarah choose? What do you think's going on with Nat and Will in that teaser?
Elizabeth Harlow is a staff writer for TV Fanatic. Follow her on Twitter.